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Don't make initiating a divorce as awkward as it could be

For most people in Colorado, the decision to get a divorce is not an easy one. While circumstances may  be difficult, some people think they should ride them out until they get better. Unfortunately, in many cases, they don't get better at all -- they get worse.

Many times, this realization comes to one spouse but not the other. When this happens, it falls to the spouse who wants to end the marriage to initiate the proceedings -- including informing the other spouse that they want to terminate the marriage.

Of course, this is easier said than done. There are an infinite number of attachments between married couples, even those who are on the verge of breaking apart. Many of those attachments will continue long after a divorce: children are the most obvious example, but sometimes divorced people will be partners in real estate or business for years after their marriage -- sometimes out of convenience, sometimes out of necessity.

Here, then, are a few things to keep in mind when bringing up the idea of divorcing with a spouse who may not have been considering it:

  • Make sure you know the legal ground you're standing on. It's best to do research first before broaching the subject.
  • Discuss the issue kindly and respectfully -- but firmly. It can't be made as an idle threat; it has to be something that is a real possibility.
  • See if things change. Maybe a spouse can change the behavior that is pushing you toward a divorce in the weeks and months to come. If not, you'll be ready for the consequences.

Source: The Huffington Post, "How to Bring up Divorce When Your Spouse Doesn't Want One," Alison Heller, June 11, 2013

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